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YouGov-Top-Brands-Buzz-H1-2016-Jul2016New data from YouGov BrandIndex reveals the brands that had the best “buzz” in the first half of this year. It’s a good list to be on, considering that word-of-mouth tops all paid media in purchase influence among American consumers, and has a particularly large impact on youth.

Once again Amazon tops all brands, as it did last year (and the year before, and the year before). Amazon’s Buzz score of 36 was well ahead of its closest rival, Netflix (33.1). Buzz scores are determined by subtracting the percentage of respondents who have heard something negative (via advertising, the news, or word-of-mouth) about the brand in the past 2 weeks from the percentage who have heard something positive.

Google continues to show its strength in this area. YouTube emerged as the #3 brand by Buzz score, while Google itself followed in 4th. Samsung rounded out the top 5, improving from its 7th position for all of 2015.

It hasn’t been as positive a year for Apple. While both Apple and the iPhone were in the top 10 list for 2015, neither have made it into this latest ranking. The iPhone did land in the 9th spot among Millennials, but trailed both Samsung (#7) and Android (#8) among youth.

Looking at the rankings across various demographic segments, some highlights include:

  • Google (40) edging Nike (39.6) for the top spot among Black Americans;
  • Nike performing strongly among Blacks (#2), Hispanics (#6), Millennials (#5) and parents (#5), but failing to crack the top 10 among all consumers;
  • Hispanics talking about digital video, with YouTube (42.8) and Netflix (41.1) atop their list;
  • A lot of positive sentiment for Netflix (46.6) among Millennials, further evidence of their shift to streaming video; and
  • Seven of the 10-best perceived brands among both Millennials and parents being tech brands.

As for Facebook losing its appeal with youth once their parents joined the platform a while back? Well, Facebook cracked the top 10 for both Millennials (#6) and parents (#8). In fact, Facebook was the most improved brand among Millennials, more than doubling its score from H1 2015 (34.8 vs. 17). Snapchat (+9.2 points to 16.8) and Google+ (+8.9 points to 15.9) were also on the most-improved list for youth.

Overall, Facebook was the most-improved brand among all Americans surveyed, with a 10.6-point improvement from H1 2015. Other brands showing strong improvement from their prior-year scores included RadioShack (+10 to -2.4), Google (+6.6 to 27.3), McDonald’s (+6.3 to 8.6) and Nike (+6.1 to 20.2).

As the analysts note, the list of top-gainers this time around doesn’t contain brands rebounding from crises. Instead, it’s mostly populated by brands strengthening their already-strong perception, such as Facebook, Google, or Amazon. The rich get richer, as they say…

About the Data: YouGov BrandIndex describes its methodology as follows:

“These brands were rated using YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score which asks respondents, ‘If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?’

Buzz scores can range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

The Buzz Rankings chart shows the brands with the highest average Buzz scores between January and June 2016. The Buzz Improvers chart ranks the brands with the highest increase in Buzz comparing January through June scores in years 2015 and 2016. Both scores are representative of the general population.

All Buzz scores listed have been rounded to a single decimal place, however, we have used additional precision to assign ranks.”

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